Board of Directors
Current board members are listed below.
To view the job description for the ARCUS Board of Directors, click here.
Board members may log in to the private work area here.
John Payne, President (Term ends 2017)
John Payne retired from federal service in December 2012 after serving 37 years in many different positions and functions including range conservationist, wildlife biologist, pilot, law enforcement officer, program manager, and Executive Director of the North Slope Science Initiative (NSSI). His retirement was short-lived and within a few weeks of leaving federal service he took a position with Michigan Technological University (MTU) as a senior scientist specializing in Arctic science. At the same time, he was approached by the Oversight Group of NSSI and asked to return to his former position as Executive Director. He welcomed both opportunities to stay connected to the Arctic.
John is also the U.S. representative on the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program (CBMP), which operates under the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Arctic Council Working Group. He serves as a co-lead of CBMP along with representatives from Greenland/Denmark. This program brings together marine, terrestrial, coastal, and freshwater experts from within the Arctic to enhance long-term Arctic biodiversity monitoring, and to facilitate detection, interpretation, and communication of significant ecological trends.
David Cairns, Secretary (Term ends 2019)
David Cairns is a Professor and the Assistant Department Head of the Geography Department at Texas A&M University. His primary research interests are on the impacts of climate change on vegetation at short and long time scales in a variety of environments. The focus of his work is on ecotones, the transition zones between different vegetation types. Most of his fieldwork has been accomplished at tree line in the western United States, Alaska, and in northern Sweden. He also has projects in two other sensitive environments: saltmarshes on the coasts of Denmark and Texas, and tundra environments on the North Slope of Alaska. Dave uses a variety of approaches—including population genetics, dendroecological methods, and simulation modeling—to answer questions about how these environments respond to climate change.
Audrey Taylor, Treasurer (Term ends 2017)
Audrey Taylor is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Alaska Anchorage. Audrey earned her PhD in wildlife biology from University of Alaska Fairbanks and has conducted field-based research across the U.S., Central and South America, and China. Her current research focuses on Arctic-breeding shorebird populations with particular focus on the impacts of climate change and industrial development along Alaska's coastlines.
Carolina Behe, Executive Committee Member-at-Large (Term ends 2018)
Carolina Behe is the Traditional Knowledge/Science expert for the Inuit Circumpolar Council-Alaska (ICC-AK). Within this position, she represents ICC-AK on various topics, which engage in both Traditional Knowledge and science, from resource management, to methods of conducting research and community engagement, to acting as the principal investigator on research projects. Carolina is currently the acting ICC board member for the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, a working group under the auspice of the Arctic Council, and sits on the steering committees of multiple task forces within the Arctic Council. Additionally, Carolina sits on the advisory committee for the Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA).
Robert Rich, Ex Officio
Bob is delighted to have joined the ARCUS team as Executive Director in May 2015. He has spent his time post-Ph.D. as a scientific association leader connecting scientists from many disciplines, institutions, and countries with the resources needed to succeed. He’s previously worked in professional development, science policy, research grants, member services, volunteer support, and strategy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.
Bob is actively involved in the association community and in national and global science conversations, where he hopes to effectively represent the important work of Arctic researchers. He holds a B.S. from M.I.T., a Masters from Harvard, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, all in chemistry. As a researcher, he studied the interactions of small molecules with enzymes and other proteins. Now, he supports the interactions of small (and large) research groups to work together to create substantial results.
He lives in Bethesda, MD and works out of the ARCUS DC office (when not in Alaska). Outside of work, he enjoys skiing, orienteering, sailing, watching baseball, and playing strategy games.
Craig Dorman (Term ends 2017)
Craig Dorman received his PhD in oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and had a long career in the U.S. Navy from which he retired in 1989 at the rank of Rear Admiral. Among other appointments since his retirement from the Navy, Craig has served as Director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Technical Director of the Office of Naval Research International Field Office, visiting professor at Imperial College, and Vice President for Research for the University of Alaska System.
Howard Epstein (Term ends 2019)
Howard Epstein is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, specializing in the ecology of arctic tundra, and dry grasslands and shrublands. His research focus is on vegetation dynamics, nutrient cycling, and plant-soil-atmosphere interactions. Current research projects in the Arctic involve 1) the “greening” of arctic tundra vegetation in response to recent warming, 2) changes in the seasonality of tundra vegetation processes in response to warming, and 3) patterns of arctic tundra vegetation and soils along latitudinal temperature gradients in the Arctic of North America and Russia.
Dr. Epstein received his B.A. degree in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1986. He received an M.S. degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Ecology, also from Colorado State, in 1997. He conducted postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. Dr. Epstein came to the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1998. As part of his arctic research, he has traveled north of the Arctic Circle nearly every summer since 1999 and has recently conducted several field expeditions in northwestern Siberia. He teaches courses in the Fundamentals of Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology, and Ecology of Grasslands and Tundra. He has published approximately 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on arctic tundra and dryland ecology.
John Farrell, Board Member (Term ends 2018)
Dr. John Farrell is the Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission, an independent federal agency of Presidential appointees that advises the White House and Congress on Arctic research matters and works with executive branch agencies to establish and execute a national Arctic research plan. The Commission also facilitates cooperation with local and state governments and recommends means for developing international scientific cooperation in the Arctic.
Farrell previously served as the Associate Dean of Research and Administration at the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. Before that, he was Director of the international Ocean Drilling Program that involved over 20 nations and had an annual budget of approximately $65M/yr. The program was dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth.
Farrell helped organized and conduct the first successful international scientific ocean drilling expedition to the high Arctic in 2004. He also participated in a US ocean mapping effort aboard the icebreaker US Coast Guard Cutter Healy in 2012.
He obtained a Ph.D. and Sc.M. in geological sciences from Brown University, and a B.A. in geology from Franklin and Marshall College. He was a NSF-funded Post-Doctoral Fellow at Brown University and an NSERC-funded Senior Research Associate at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada.
Adrian Gall, Board Member (Term ends 2017)
Adrian Gall is a Senior Scientist and Research Coordinator at ABR, Inc.—Environmental Research & Services. She has a background in population biology of nesting seabirds and the use of seabirds as indicators of marine conditions in Alaska, Hawaii, the Lower 48, and Mexico. Since joining ABR in 2005, she has focused on movements and habitat use of seabirds, waterfowl, shorebirds, and marine mammals in terrestrial and marine environments. Adrian has over 17 years of experience in working in coastal Alaskan communities, including 7 years as Co-Principal Investigator for the Chukchi Sea Environmental Studies Program. Her field work regularly involves residency and outreach in coastal Alaska villages and as a result she has good working relationships with Native Alaskan communities. She earned a BS from Cornell University in 1997, a MSc from Oregon State University in 2003, and a PhD in Oceanography from University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2015.
Mark Ivey (Term ends 2018)
Gunnar Knapp (Term ends 2017)
Gunnar Knapp, an economist, is Director and professor at the Institute of Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage. Gunnar teaches courses in economics including "The Economy of Alaska" and "Introduction to Fisheries Economics and Markets." He has extensive research experience in seafood, aquaculture, and fisheries management. Gunnar's recent research focuses on the economics of the Bristol Bay salmon industry and trends in Alaskan and global salmon markets.
Timo Koivurova (Term ends 2019)
I specialize in international environmental law in the Arctic but I am interested in other international law issues relevant in the Arctic. I am of the opinion that many times it is exactly the international aspects of arctic problems that are not easily comprehended by the public.
Dr. Koivurova defended his thesis "environmental impact assessment in the Arctic; a Study of International Legal Norms" in 2001 at the University of Lapland Finland. He has published 6 scientific articles, mainly about arctic issues and he has written a large number of newspaper articles.
The Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law and Dr. Koivurova himself, are dedicated to increasing the level of knowledge about arctic issues to different stakeholders in the Arctic. To further this philosophy, Dr. Koivurova has taught in the Arctic Studies Program at the Arctic Center for two years, lecturing to students all over the world.
Dr. Koivurova is an experienced presenter, having given presentations at several conferences and seminars. He is interested in speaking to all potential audiences of the Arctic Visiting Speaker Series but he is generally unavailable around Christmas and in the summer months.
His lecture titles include:
- International environmental law in the Arctic
- Environmental impact assessment in the Arctic
- International law of physical space in the Arctic
Olivia Lee (Term ends 2017)
Olivia Lee is Research Assistant Professor at the International Arctic Research Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She studies the effects of sea ice change on Arctic pinnipeds by combining observations from subsistence hunters with remote sensing satellite imagery. She is also involved in interdisciplinary scenarios work with the North Slope Science Initiative. She is the science lead for the Alaska Observatory and Knowledge hub (A-OK), and has experience working on marine policy issues as a former Knauss fellow at the National Science Foundation. Olivia has worked for ARCUS on issues related to the Arctic Observing Network and was a postdoctoral researcher for the the Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH) program. She has a PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M University.
Maribeth Murray (Term ends 2018)
Maribeth Murray is Director of the Arctic Institute of North America and professor in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Calgary, Alberta. Maribeth was previously at the International Arctic Research Center and Northern Studies Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She has also held positions as the Executive Director of the International Study of Arctic Change and has served on the advisory panels of several Arctic-related initiatives in Sweden, the European Union, and the U.S.